Mark Carson's Family Joins More than 1,000 to Protest Anti-Gay Violence
GREENWICH VILLAGE — The family of Mark Carson marched with community leaders and a crowd of more than a 1,000 people through the streets of Greenwich Village Monday to call for an end to hate violence after Carson was gunned down in Greenwich Village over the weekend in an apparent anti-gay attack.
Carson, 32, was allegedly murdered by Elliot Morales, 33, early Saturday morning after Morales passed Carson in the street, calling him and his friends "faggots," "queers" and "gay wrestlers."
"The family would like justice to be served so Mark's death is not in vain," said Carson's aunt, Flourine Bompars, speaking to a crowd packed into the street where the shooting happened.
Friends and family remembered Carson as a big-hearted man did not let bigoted comments get to him.
"He was just so adorable. Very stylish. Very sweet," said Jerri Nicole Smith, 33, who was friends with Carson for 16 years. "I'm still recovering."
Dhalimo Robinson, who also knew Carson, said he was tired of being harassed for he sexuality.
"I'm tired of loving myself and other people hating me," said Robinson.
Marchers walked from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community center on West 13th Street and 7th Avenue about 5:30 p.m. to Sixth Avenue and 8th Street, where Carson was shot.
The crowed crammed into 8th Street, cheering Carson's family when they came to stage.
Nick Porto and Kevin Atkins, a gay couple who were attacked outside Madison Square Garden after a Knicks game earlier this month, also spoke to the crowd.
"Gay rights is a lot more that just marriage," said Porto. "We want to live long enough to enjoy the opportunity."